Sunday, April 22, 2012

Back on the Bike

When I first got on the bike, Things hurt. I could say it more eloquently, but that's just what it is. I was overconfident for just coming off of three weeks on the couch and decided I would jump right back in where I left off. Dad had been riding the entire time I was resting and was in good shape. I can't remember who's idea it was, but we decided to do the J Cook Loop. Despite being a short loop at only a hour and a half, it's the hilliest road we have on this side of spirit mountain and the staple of all our hardest routes. Probably not the best place to start off with right?

The first thing I noticed when I got on my bike was how weird things felt. My bike was alien, unfamiliar. I really didn't like that at all, but I was happy to be biking anyways. We were not going very fast, yet I felt like I was on a rocket! We stopped a few times to adjust my position and some the discomfort went away. I had grown quite a bit since the last time I had ridden, and only now do I realize the cause of that feeling was all the growth I had experienced during my off period. Not some complete loss of my biking instinct. As it was, I adapted to things quickly and by the end of the day almost felt normal on my bike again. I could tell I had lost fitness but I could feel all the raw strength I had gained in my rest period. At every small hill I would stand up and bash gears I had struggled with during my peak last year. Then gasp for breath at the top as my cardiovascular system tried to catch up.

Once I learned to pace myself, the hills did not feel to bad. I was going very slow, but that's to be expected after a off period. After a while though, I started to bonk. I won't go into details, but lets just say it was the worst bonk I had ever experienced... so bad that a mile away from my house I did not think I could make it. Once I got home, drank my recovery drink, taken a nice long shower, and eaten a huge carb-rich meal I felt much better. I decided to try and build things up a little more before trying that loop again.

A month later, much has changed. I have switched to the metric system and now measure my rides in kilometers. Mentally it has been refreshing, allowing me to concentrate on how fast I am going now, not how fast I had gone. I also got my blood tested. While I was low on Vitamin D, most of my levels were fine. However, when Inigo got my blood results, he found that for a athlete my Iron was too low. This was preventing my body from creating enough red blood cells, which was causing my difficulty up hills. Since then I have been taking a Iron supplement, and recently I have noticed a significant improvement. I just did my fastest three hour ride ever, despite feeling a little off. I expect the next one will be even faster.

Building up from almost nothing right after being in the shape of my life was frustrating to say the least. However I am already almost faster now then I was then. Once it's time to race, I will be ready, ready to rip it up.

I had some posting difficulties with this one, I thought it was posted, but it wasn't. Sorry about the delay!